In a previous post on this blog you will find a list of Indian trade
goods, and in that list it states:"Brass & tinn Kettles large & Small".
But of course these sizes are relative. The large tin kettles are almost as big
as a water pail, so the small tin kettles are simply small in
comparison to a pail, but not necessarily small enough to carry
in a knapsack.
There are modern tinsmiths selling small tin kettles which they say
are "based" on examples found in museums. By this they mean they are made to look roughly the same as the example in the museum. They may not be made of the same material, and they are often not the same size or shape.
Extant Tin Kettle This Early Specimen was Recovered From a Well at
Fortress Louisbourg Smaller Size : 6” Tall by 8 3/4” Wide 3 Panel Body
Construction with Single Riveted Flat Ears for Attaching the BaleCapacity: 1
Gallon, 1 Pint c. 1719 - 1768(Fortress Louisbourg NHS, Parks Canada)
This tin kettle is dated 1719-1768, but note that it is wider than it
is tall. 6 inches tall is fine, but it is almost 9 inches wide.
Tin Kettles or Pails with
Flat Rectangular Crimped Dog Ears Found at Fort Ligonier & Reconstructions
of the Same As Pictured in Neuman and Kravic’s “Collector’s Encyclopedia of the
American Revolution” Heights Excluding Bales and Ears: 9 1/4” and 7 1/4” (Fort
These look basically the same as ones being sold now, but again, look
at the sizes. In this instance the width is not mentioned and it can be
difficult to judge the width by the depth.
A Small Post Revolution British Tin Kettle Round Double
Riveted Tin Ears, Iron Bale, and Tin Cover Sporting an Iron Ring Handle Provenance
: 1st Foot Guards c.1800-1810(Armémuseum, Stockholm Sweden)
A smaller tin kettle that we are more used to seeing, but look at the
date, it is 19th century.
Brass Sheet Metal Kettle, Likely FrenchFrom the Wreck of
the Machault Sunk in the 1760 Battle of Restigouche in the Bay of Gaspé
in Quebec Provincec. 1755 - 1760(Parks Canada)
So, if your period pre dates the American revolution, and you are
looking for a small kettle to carry in your knapsack, I suggest you use one of
the tin lined brass or copper kettles being offered by some of the present day traders.
A modern made tin lined brass cast trade kettle. Not the best example of what is available today, but it is closer than using the wrong size of tin kettle.
RECOVERING THE TINSMITH’S ART Tin artifacts are among the most
fragile items from the site, but substantially perfect replicas can be copied
from the scraps, using historic craft skills.
My thanks to David Swampfox for this list of goods.
In Public Record Office, C.). 5.61, London, England. Enclosed in a
letter of Amherst to William Pitt, February 27,1761
p.334-335 Sir William Johnson Papers
A list of goods intended for Northern tribes.
A List of Such merchandise as is Usually sold to the Indians — the prices
differ with the times —
Deep blue Strowds with a narrow white cord
Plain Blue Strowds
Scarlet or Aurora Do
Garterings and bindings for strouds of different sorts
French blankets, or twilled lettered white blankets
Purple & white french Rateen for Stockings
English white blanketsof 20-24-&30 to a piece with black or Deep blue
Wals cottons, or Pennistons for stockings
Green Knapt Frize for Do: & also for Blankets
Red, Yellow, Green & blue halfthicks
Flowered serges, lively colours or gay
Calicoes, Claimancoes for gowns &ca
Ribbons of all sorts, especially deep red, yellow, blue & Green
Linnens & ready made Shirts of all Sizes
Light coloured & white threads
Awl blades for making Indian Shoes
Scalping and Clasp knives
Vermillion and Verdigrease
Jews Harps small & large
Stone & plain rings
Hawks bells different Sizes
Small white Beeds & other coloured Do Small
Horn Combs different sizes
Brass wire different Sizes
Scizars & Razors
Looking Glasses….Different sorts
Brass & tinn Kettles large and Small
Women & Childrens Worsted & yarn hose with clocks
Roll of paper Tobacco. Also Leaf Do
Pipes long & Short
Red Leather Trunks in Nests
Black & white wampum in great demand
Silver works or toys, which the Indians wear of different kinds
Tomahawks or small hatchets well made
Also pipe Hatchets
Tobacco & Snuff boxes
Gilt Gill Cups and half gill Do
Good Gunpowder, large grain
Small bar lead of 1-1/2 lb each
Goose, Duck & Pidgeon Shot
Light & Good Fowling pieces
Beaver & Fox Traps
Iron Spears or giggs for striking fish with & Beaver with
New England, or York rum in rumlets of Caggs of 22.214.171.124 & 4 Gallns each
Note the mention of tin kettles large and small. More on this later. Keith.
"Woodland buffalo east of the Appalachians were hunted to extinction
by the end of the 17th century, making their horns difficult if not impossible
to obtain for powder horns. Powder horns made from Woodland bison during
the Colonial wars are unknown. Most of the Woodland bison horns are
plain. Rare examples of these horns have a pattern of brass pins hammered
into the butt plug of the horn. Within a circle of pins there is a
design of pins. Based on Indian lore, Some researchers believe that the
pattern of pins represent a constellation of stars visible on the night a baby
was born, giving the child a lifetime sign".
Fort Ontario State Historic Site presents a new conference with a
focus on Native American history, French and Indian War battles and campaigns,
the archaeology of 17th and 18th century forts, the base side of soldiering
during the War of 1812, and the African-American military experience. The Fort
Ontario History and Archaeology Conference runs April 21 to 23.
The prices of the skins in Canada, in the year
1749, were communicated to me by M. de Couagne, a merchant at Montreal,
with whom I lodged. They were as follows:
Great and middle sized bear skins, cost five
Skins of young bears, fifty sols.
~~~~ lynxes, 25 sols.
~~~~ pichoux du sud, 35 sols.
~~~~ foxes from the southern parts, 35 sols.
~~~~ otters, 5 livres.
~~~~ racoons, 5 livres.
~~~~ martens, 45 sols.
~~~~ wolf-lynxes, 4 livres.
~~~~ wolves, 40 sols.
~~~~ carcajoux, an animal which I do not know, 5
Skins of visons, a kind of martens, which live in
the water, 25 sols.
Raw skins of elks, 10 livres.
Bad skins of elks and stags, 3
Skins of roebucks, 25, or 30 sols.
~~~~ red foxes, 3 livres.
~~~~ beavers, 3 livres.
I will now insert a list of all the different kinds
of skins, which are to be got in Canada, and which are sent from thence to Europe.
I got it from one of the greatest merchants in Montreal. They are as
Prepared roebuck skins, chevreuils passés.
Unprepared ditto, chevreuils verts.
Tanned ditto, chevreuils tanés.
Young bears, oursons.
Wolves, loup de bois.
Lynxes, loups cerviers.
North pichoux, pichoux du nord.
South pichoux, pichoux du sud.
Red foxes, renards rouges.
Cross foxes, renards croisés.
Black foxes, renards noirs.
Grey foxes, renards argentés.
Southern, or Virginian foxes, renards du
sud où de Virginie.
White foxes, from Tadoussac, renards blancs de
A Specification of the Quality and Quantity of Goods
necessary to be sent from London for the Northern
20, pcs. of blue narrow Cord Strowds
10, ditto. of Black ditto.
5, ditto. of Aurora, or Crimson ditto.
5, ditto. of common Red ditto.
200, Rolls of different Colours Gartering
200, ps. Gimps Suitable to the Strouds
300, Blankets made to sample every Way
300, ditto. Large enough for Women
400, ditto. for men something Larger,
6, pcs. of deep purple Ratteen
6, pcs. of White or uncolour’d d”.
6, ds. of Walsh Cottons
200, Mens Ruffled Shirts Buttons
200, ditto. plain
100, ditto. Smaller size and plain
100, ditto. for little Boys
20, Hanks of light Colour’d Thread
6, pcs. of Yellow half thicks
4, ditto. of Blue d”.
30, pcs. Strip’d Callimincoes, lively Colours
20, pcs. of Callicoes also Lively Colours
20, pcs. embors’d Serges ditto.
10, pcs. of Yard wide Checks Red Stripes
40. pcs. of single Ribbands Viz’. 10. deep Red, 10. deep blue, 10. deep Green,
& 10. Yellow,
30, doz”. of Womens Yarn Hose Clock’. & diff’. Colours.
20, d°. of Boys ditto & ditto.
20, d°. of Childrens ditto & ditto.
20, d°. Smallest Childrens Hose.
10, d°. of Womens Scarlet blue and Green Worsted Hose with Clocks,
100, Castor Hatts laced with a broad cheap Lace
50, ditto. with a better Lace
2, doz”. of small Jacks or Colours
100, Coats of blue Cloath Red Cuffs &c. Laced
100, Cheap Green Waste Coats with white Mett’. Buttons
400, Neat Fowling pieces Barrels 4 Feet Long Substantíal Stocks to have some
distinguishing mark on the Barrel and Lock of each, about 2 0 / price,
400, ditto. a better kind distinguish’d as above.
200, ditto. 3 Feet Barrell for Boys. ditto. Wilson Maker
100, pcs. of middling Pistols with Ramrods
1000, Indian Cuthashes strong & of the Cymiter kind
500, Pipe Hatchets neat & Strong without Handles
50, doz. of Long Fish Knives with Box Handles and Sharp points
50, ditto. of Buckhorn Clasp Knives
20, doz. of Penknives Sorted
20, doz. of Womens Siczars,
20, Gro: of Indian Awl Blades,
50, B of Brass wire Sorted,
50, Brass Gorgets Gilt, with the Kings Arms
150, Hair Cocades,
50, Gro. of the smallest brass dutch Jews Harps
50, doz. Buckling Combs,
10, M of Needles Sorted
30, Gro. of Hawks Bells different Sizes
4, ditto. of Common Razors,
20, doz. of Looking Glasses at 8/
20, ditto. of ditto at 10/
100, Gro: of Bristol pipes
50, 11 of small white Beeds
500, Common Steel Tongs for Striking Fire
4, •M'”. of Good Gun powder, half in whole, & half in 1/2 Barrells
8, Tons of Leaden Barrs of 1-1/2 lbs Each
2, M of Goose Shott
2. ditto. of duck Shott
10, -M. of Good Flints
500, lbs. of VermiIIion in Casks well packd
20, 1bs of Verdegreace in Lump
100, doz. of Bullet Molds for the before Mention’d Arms,
Source: Sir William Johnson Papers, Volume II page
From a memorial from Benjamin Martyn, agent for Georgia,
to the Board of Trade, Jan. 28, 1755. This is directly from a 1750 list of
goods that was used to suggest what should be purchased with £1500 for Indian
presents to be distributed to the groups bordering the colony of Georgia,
reused by Martyn.
From the Colonial Records of the State of Georgia.
A list of goods for Indian Presents.
20 pieces striped Duffils, the stripes bright
28 half pieces blew Strouds
14 half pieces red Do.
10 pieces blew plains corded and Wormed for Women
200 Yards of embroider’d Serge the patterns large
2500 lb F. Gunpowder
150 Wilson’s trading Guns
40 Fowling Pieces
12 Saddles with Cruppers and Bridles
8 Do. a better Sort with Housings
2 Gross Stone Rings
12 Doz. Horn Combs
6 Doz. Ivory Do.
4 Gross black and spotted Clasp knives
12 Doz. Razors
12 Doz. pair Scyssors
12 Doz. looking Glasses
12 Nests of red gilt trunks
19 Doz. check Shirts
18 Doz. white Garlics Do
15 pieces of Calicoe 18 yards in Each
50Cnt trading Bells
34 second hand scarlet, red, and blew coats
6 Do. a better sort, and 6 Waistcoats for head men
34 tinsel laced hats
6 tinsel laced hats a better Sort for Head Men
6 Gross Body Cadis in pieces 12 yards each
6 Gross figured and Star Gartering
30 lb Vermilion
14 Gross long Pipes
60 Gross Hunters Do
100 lb. Shag cut tobacco
40 lb. bright brass wire sorted
6 Gross Hawks Bells smallest size
12 Dozen Oval-eyed Hatchets
250 lb brass Kettles sorted
10 Nests tin Kettles 15 in Each
4 Doz. quart tin Pots
4 Doz. pint Do
4 Doz 1/2 Pint Do
4,000 Black flints for trading guns
1,000 Do for Fowling Pieces
Source: Coleman, K., Ready, M., (1976). The Colonial
records of the state of Georgia. Vol.27, Original papers of Governor John
Reynolds, 1754-1756. Athens: University of Georgia Press. pp. 30-31
Flintlock Fowler, by Johann Georg Wisthaler of Munich (active 1718-50).
This is a beautiful fullstock fowler that has all wrought iron and
engraved mounts and very fine rococo ruffle and serpent head carving. He is
identified by the Gold touchmark in the top of the breech. He is listed in
Stockel as working in Munich between 1745 and 1748. This gun is 20 bore, with
the barrel 35 3/4" long and it is 50 5/16" overall. Horn tipped
ramrod, with a long jag on the end.